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Why we Invested $30m in DeFi Wallet Bitkeep –  Gracy Chen, Managing Director of Bitget

Bitget Managing Director Gracy Chen
Bitget Managing Director Gracy Chen

As a cryptocurrency exchange and digital asset trading platform, Bitget has begun to explore new vistas of opportunities as it hopes to collaborate with BitKeep in order to leverage the respective strengths and advantages of Decentralized finance in its global operations. Gracy Chen, Bitget Managing Director, in this interview with Ugo Onwuaso, speaks on why it invested $30 million in BitKeep, among many other issues.

Excerpts:

Hi Gracy, good to have you here. Can you tell us a bit more about yourself and when did you join Bitget

Formerly, I was an anchor and producer at the technology and finance channel of Phoenix TV, one of the largest Asian media conglomerates. That’s also around the time that some of my friends (who are famous crypto entrepreneurs and investors today such as He Yi, co-founder of Binance, and Tim Draper, whom I studied from when I was at Draper University) introduced me to the crypto industry. In 2014, I started to invest in cryptocurrencies including BTC, ETH, and XRP, not in huge amounts. I think people should build portfolios with small percentage investment in crypto according to their own experience and risk-tolerance level. And it’s only since 2017, that I started to invest more in the primary and secondary crypto market. For example, I‘ve been an investor in the early days of BitKeep, Asia’s leading decentralized wallet and Bitget’s sister company. So in this journey, I have witnessed the brand’s development and growth throughout the years. Hence, I decided to join Bitget in 2022, changing the role from an investor to a builder.

Can you tell us about the recent Bitget investment of $30 million in BitKeep

The investment is beneficial for both Bitget and BitKeep as they collaborate to connect DeFi and CeFi, leveraging their respective strengths. The integration of BitKeep Wallet with Bitget’s business domain will enhance the exchange’s product offering and expand its business into the wallet sector, providing native storage and asset management services.

Furthermore, BitKeep’s substantial user base of over 8 million in 168 countries will enable Bitget to tap into a new pool of potential clients. Additionally, BitKeep’s impressive range of services, including access to diverse DeFi protocols and NFT projects across various blockchains, will allow Bitget to transform from a prominent derivative exchange into a comprehensive and holistic exchange with a growing ecosystem, thus delving deeper into the Web3 space.

We have seen you giving speeches in different events talking about Bitget flagship product copy trading. Can you tell us more about Social Trading and how Bitget is helping its users with this innovative product? Do you follow any traders on the platform, any tips you want to share

With the vision to increase financial independence, we focus on transforming the way people connect and trade with social trading. We believe in the power of social trading and make it our quintessential feature, allowing us to differentiate among exchanges such as Binance and OKX, offering users valuable services.

High barriers to crypto investment hinder its mass adoption. Copy trading with more social interactions will be the key. Launched in May 2020, Bitget is the first crypto exchange to introduce copy trading features. It now supports copy trading in the spot market, futures market, and copy a strategist. Since its launch, the copy trading feature on Bitget has attracted more than 80,000 elite traders to share their strategies and more than 380,000 followers to copy, making it the largest crypto copy trading platform. As of Jan 2023, the number of profitable trades through Bitget copy trading is over 47 million, with gains from profitable trades reaching 300 million, and profits shared by elite traders reaching USD 20 million.

“Bitget Insights”, is a new feature on our platform, which makes social trading more accessible to everyone. The feature is acting as a mixture of “social media + trading”, and its curated “lead traders” can post their chart analysis, technical strategies, and articles, to share their insights with followers and help them make smarter financial decisions. As of Jan 2023, over 500 trading experts are sharing their crypto market insights on the platform with nearly 10,000 posts generated.

In the future, we will continue to bring innovative products and services, providing more trading strategies and skills for our users and helping beginners to learn more about the industry.

Changing topic, in this period it is inevitable to talk about the banking crisis. How do you see this impacting the crypto industry? What would you suggest to all our readers considering that there might be more banks on the verge of collapse

I think there will be inevitable development in the space after this wave of bank closures. We are living in an increasingly multipolar, interconnected and multicultural world. Since the 1980s, financial institutions and financial markets have no longer been operating within an enclosed geographical space. Instead, we are trading in a global and highly networked business arena. In this financial context, it is not realistic to think that we can continue to rely on siloed and immutable financial systems.

We need flexible, elevated open-source algorithms, time-efficient financial structures that cut settlement times as well as costs, and transactions that are not only frictionless but also borderless. Digital currencies offer exactly that. So, cryptocurrencies and crypto exchanges have been portrayed as an alternative to traditional banking, but actually we are expanding the financial offerings with the more advanced ecosystem. Most of the traditional banking businesses, such as loans, mortgage and credit cards etc, will still need banks to perform, and crypto exchanges can provide some innovative financial services with its infrastructure.

Bitget did great in 2022 while the market and several crypto companies were collapsing. What’s the secret sauce you have been using to grow rapidly and fast

The year 2022 was one of the roughest in the crypto industry. The collapse of Terra LUNA, Celsius, and FTX, consequently wiping out over US$2 trillion from the crypto market. Despite the hardships in the market, Bitget grew in all aspects; the company made great strides in building our team, brand, and business over the last 12 months during the crypto winter.

Some key development areas of the company included:

  1. Climbing the chart ranked as the Top 3 exchange according to the Boston Consulting Group report, in terms of crypto derivative trading volume.
  2. According to the latest TokenInsight report, Bitget’s market share in the derivative market increased from 3% to 11% after the collapse of FTX
  3. Over 300% increase in total transaction volume, with the popularity of copy trading products
  4. The workforce grew from barely 200 people at the beginning of 2022 to over 1300 employees now
  5. Became the exclusive crypto exchange partner with Lionel Messi

Bitget is the first and largest crypto copy trading platform, connecting beginners with professional traders. Launched in May 2020, Bitget now supports copy trading in the spot market, futures market, and copy a strategist. Since its launch, the copy trading feature on Bitget has attracted more than 80,000 elite traders to share their strategies and more than 380,000 followers to copy.

These figures of growth attribute to our endeavors on not only service improvement and product innovation, but also the global expansion and adoption of top-notch security and protection measures.  Previously, the company focused on serving customers from a few Asian countries alone. However, by the end of 2022, the exchange had acquired over 8 million users in more than 100 countries, with footprints in Turkey, Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Europe. Bitget is safeguarding users’ funds on the platform with a series of security policies, including a $300 million Protection Fund, a Fund Custody service, pledged to be fully reserved back by the Merkle Tree Proof of Reserves model. 

Can you tell us more about funds security at Bitget? Do you provide any audits

In Bitget, securing users’ assets on our platform has been our top priority since day one, and we have taken plenty of measures on this end. The first response we have done with FTX’s collapse is to launch a US $5 million builders’ fund to assist affected partners, and increased our Bitget Protection Fund to US $300 million with transparent wallet addresses and guarantee no withdrawal for 3 years. As far as I know, our Protection Fund is the second largest among all CEXs so far.

The next thing we worked on is our Proof-of-Reserves. We have developed a verification tool “Merklevalidator” internally and with free access to open-source codes on GitHub. Not only showing reserve status as a whole in the company, users can also verify their own account’s proof of reserves with the tool, and proving our exchange reserve to users assets is at least on an 1:1 ratio.

Aside from financial measures, Bitget’s team has also been working strenuously on platform security as well. Bitget’s security team adopted measures such as mature risk control systems, advanced security governance, trusted wallet encryption and many more to keep cybersecurity threats under control.

 

 

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